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Snow calming and road diet discussion, cont…

March 21, 2013

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snowclam

This curb extension got chopped.

I noticed yesterday that the City DPW was hard at work with big equipment taking-out and knocking-back Old Man Winter’s traffic calming bulb-outs and curb extensions mentioned on Monday. They probably would have melted away next week regardless, but hey, they were nice while they lasted.

MyWHaT reader, Janet, also noticed the calming effect of snow on the streets and sent in this further observation:

The snow reduces the noise of traffic significantly. My guess is that it is a combination of slower speeds, the snowbanks on the sides absorbing and buffering the sound, and perhaps the snow coating the road reducing the noise of tires. This makes living in town much more pleasant. If we could employ some tactics to create this same effect year round, it will make town living more attractive, entice people to be outside visiting with neighbors, and taking care of their surroundings, and walking- all healthful things for urban living.

Road diets and other traffic phenomena

Yesterday’s post about the capacity increase associated with road diets, inspired Bob Atallo to send in another traffic phenomena related to the quest for capacity:

There is an (obscure) corollary to this called De-Haven-Smith’s Law: the time it takes you to drive to work is a constant. Explanation: if the roads don’t have sufficient capacity, then it will take you x minutes to drive to work. If capacity is increased, you (and everyone else) will leave the house later thinking the extra capacity will speed up your trip, and that will cause traffic jams. So it still takes you x minutes to drive to work. If you figure this out, you will go back to leaving earlier, and it will still take you x minutes to drive to work. QED.

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Have a perspective or lesson to share, please send it in.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of writers previously published here or any of the organizations, committees, commissions or other affiliation the authors may belong to, unless so stated.

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